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10/23/2002 Wednesday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Feedback on iBook/iMac/eMac Firmware Mods
for Dual Display Support

Posted: Oct. 23, 2002
Last Updated: Dec. 15th, 2005
(Notes on working w/iMac G5 X600)


Display Spanning Doctor works w/iMac G5 iSight (Radeon X600) (12/15/2005)

" Having no alternative but to search for a solution to the forced display mirroring on the iMac G5, I found this very useful app that changes Open Firmware's setting to enable secondary display support on the iMac G5 (among others) (the same util as linked here)
http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html
I can confirm that this works with my iMac G5 (20", X600 XT).
Regards, Jose "

The author should soon have his page of Supported iBook, iMac and eMac models updated to note this (perhaps by the time you read this.)

iBook/eMac/iMac Dual Display (spanning) mod w/OS X 10.4 Tiger: (from the 5/2/2005 news page - see the author's page of Supported iBook, iMac and eMac models, although the new fall 2005 iMac G5s with ATI X600 have not shipped yet to test. (Update - as mentioned above it is reported to work with them.) It does not work with the Mac Mini (Radeon 9200 model) reportedly. With only a single port, you'd need a DVI splitter cable which has connectors for both VGA (15pin/analog) and DVI digital monitors - both sets of outputs are present in the DVI-I connector.)
A reader that's using this nvram tweak for dual display/spanning with an eMac asked if anyone using that mod had upgraded to Tiger. Within minutes of posting this Matthew called to say it's still working after the Tiger install on his iBook G4 and two other readers (including the author) reported it's still working. (If you reset the nvram you'll need to reapply it of course) The author also wrote with a link to the latest version:

"the dual screen (nvram) patch still works with Tiger.
If you used it before and install Tiger it should continue to function as it did before. I've created a new release (0.3.3) of Screen Spanning Doctor that will work in Tiger. Previous versions had trouble with the authentication in Tiger.
The new version is packaged into a Disk Image rather than a .sit archive since Tiger no longer includes StuffIt Expander and to avoid frequent problems with StuffIt (unstuffed Program wouldn't run).
I didn't get around to update my website yet but the new release can be found here:
http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ScreenSpanningDoctor.dmg
There is also a Tiger compatibility discussion thread in case anybody wants to post some feedback:
http://forum.macparts.de/viewtopic.php?t=518
Cheers, -Klaus "

Tips for iBook with Failed Dual Display OF Mod: (from the July 31st, 2003 main site news page) A reader sent a tip for anyone that tried to apply the iBook Dual Monitor OF mod and had a failure. (Some iBook owners in the past may have tried resetting the nvram without solving the problem, but it's certainly something to try.)

" i've just came across an article (http://www.mactechnews.de/index.php?function=17&thread=1347&cat=3&ans (in german) on a forum. It describes how to repair an ibook which has been made unbootable/unusable by the dual-display-mod:
1. Remove the battery
2. Hold down apple+power button until the os-rom-bootmanager appears
3. Enter 'mac-boot'
4. iBook should be workin now

If it still displays a black screen, try this

  1. Remove the battery
  2. Hold down apple+power button until the os-rom-bootmanager appears (don't enter quotes on commands)
  3. Enter 'reset-defaults'
  4. Enter 'set-defaults'
  5. Enter 'reset-all'
  6. Enter 'mac-boot'

Best regards, Pete "

I thought that after the reset-all command it may reboot automatically but it's been awhile since I did this so I may be mistaken (it could have been another command).
The reader that sent the link to the Applescript version of the mod in Tuesday's news wrote to say the author of the applescript (at http://www.heise.de/ct/03/16/links/192.shtml) has revised it so that it should not apply on iBooks without the Radeon Mobility (not the Rage128 Mobility models). But last fall I had two 2002 iBook owners (which has a Radeon Mobility chip) report failures with the mod - not sure why.

Applescript for Dual Monitor Support with modern iBooks, iMacs and eMacs: (from the July 31st, 2003 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page) The author of the original iBook (Radeon graphics model) dual monitor OF mod sent a note he's posted his own Applescript enabler:

"I updated my website with instructions on how to revitalize dead iBooks (but I see you have simmilar instructions on your website already). (see earlier news item below.)
I also wrote my own AppleScript to enable screen spanning and clamshell mode as a new feature. It's in English and should work with every machine that could use that patch before (clamshell mode obviously can only be used with iBooks). It checks if you have a supported machine. (iMac G4s with GeForce4MX's (not Geforce2MX) and later eMacs w/Radeon 7500 are other machines mentioned previously)
If you don't have one it will refuse to run.
I didn't release a script or a program to automate the process before because I thought that a one-click process would lower the inhibition threshold to use a patch that might cause problems. However, since there now is one out there (that is not available in English and didn't include any warnings) I decided to release my own which I think does a better job. The patch is available upon request from http://macparts.de/ibook
Best regards -Klaus"

(from the July 29th, 2003 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)
A reader sent a note about an applescript (easiler) method of applying the dual monitor mod but see the warning note posted here originally and the warning from the author of the original mod below that some have had this problem even with the original applescript (Update - Applescript reportedly revised now to not apply to Rage128 Mobility models.)

"The in germany well known comp-mag c't has made an applescript that should enable the dual-display support for ibooks, imacs and emacs (models with dual display capable gpus like radeon 7500..) unlike changing the settings in the OF yourself.
(This older article below on the OF mod method)
it should be reset to default, if you zap your nvram.
you have to use it in X, after enabling the dualsupport is also in 9 given. if your ibook has only 16megs (VRAM) you should enable quartz extreme using PCIextreme (assuming Radeon chip and not a Rage128 chip which has no QE support regardless)
the download page is:
http://www.heise.de/ct/03/16/links/192.shtml
after unstuffing you'll find two textdocuments and two applescripts iBookScreenEnhancer
iBookScreenEnhancer + Desktop
the second is to use the ibook with external monitor and closed lid.
i haven't tried it yet, because i don't own one of these machines.
regards, oli v.
frankfurt/germany"

(Update - as of July 31st, reportedly the applescript has been revised to not install on iBooks w/o a dual head grapics chip (i.e. not on Rage128 Mobility models). (the info below was posted before the applescript was revised, but as with any mod like this - use at your own risk.)
(July 30th, 2003) The author of the original mod (below) sent a note that like the original mod, there's been some failure reports using the applescript as well:

"Since the release of the AppleScript to enable spanning on some iBooks/iMacs/eMacs by the german magazine c't (noted in yesterday's news here) - I have received some reports of failed iBooks. This is the same issue as with my original patch where 600 MHz iBooks (other Rage-based iBooks might be affected as well) with the Rage Mobility chip will die after applying the patch (the AppleScript apparently doesn't check if you use this kind of iBook). (This problem was reported by some readers in the past article here on the mod.)
Maybe you could add a warning to the news item on your site that this patch will not circumvent this issue.
Unfortunately there is no known way to revitalize those iBooks besides replacing the mainboard.
Thanks -Klaus"



(Original article with older info follows)

The Oct. 22nd, 2002 news page had a note/link to a firmware mod from an iBook (Radeon Mobility chip version) owner that enabled dual monitor support. (See macparts.de/ibook) He also noted the mod should work for the iMac G4 17" (Geforce4MX) but the only report I have gotten so far from an iMac 17" LCD owner said it didn't work. (If the GF4MX iMac 17" didn't work, then the GF2MX 15" models are even less likely to work.)
All reports from Rage128 Mobility iBook owners noted it didn't work (one of the early reports noted a failure to boot afterwards - WARNING: I do not suggest older iBook owners try this since it's not been reported to work with them anyway. (And at least one Rage128 mobility owner reported a DOA iBook after attempting it. And there are similar reports farther down from other models.) Only the Radeon Mobility chip based 2002 iBooks (current models) have had success so why bother and risk a problem. Also note that I have gotten 2 reports from 2002 iBook owners on failures after the mod - so even that model is not a sure thing.).

Important Notes from the Author of the Mod Page: (from an email in reply to initial problem reports below from some owners of iBook 500 and 600mhz Rage128 chip based models.)

"Just some quick responses to your feedback page. I put a warning on my site since there seems to be a serious issue with 600mhz Rage iBooks. (I have recently had an iBook G3/500 owner also report the problem (see below) - although not all did, I'd warn any pre-Radeon Mobility chip owners it's not worth trying, since it's not reported to work anyway with them.) I also created a page with additional info for owners of Rage iBooks (the link is above my page). (See macparts.de/ibook)
I have one report of an iMac owner (800 mhz Geforce2mx) who claimed that this tweak resulted in increased came performance (but no spanning). I'm not sure why this could be. Maybe the driver clocks the chip higher if the graphic-options variable is set to zero (usually it's 00000012 hex). I just got my hands onto the device tree of a 15" iMac. It also only lists one graphics controller (see note to Stefan's comments further down).

    (Quote on Reader report here)
    " I've tried the tweak with no success on my 500MHz (overclocked to 100/550) iBook. Though this could be due to the overclocking modifications to the OF. I tried adding the new lines directly after the cpu/bus speed lines, but this may be incorrect, I do not know, so if someone knows about this, it would be interesting to know whether the tweak doesn't work due to the way I've added the lines. Richard "

He would have to enter it before or after his original code so I did it right. However, I don't think the Rage iBooks can do it anyways (see Stefans comments further down). (Since only Radeon Mobility based iBooks reported it working, I hesitate suggesting older model ibooks try it in general.)

    (Quote on Reader report here)
    " 17" iMac work only mirror with external monitor (i test that openfirmware fix) ibook work fine ibook 600MZh/20gb/CD
    Mika M."

The Geforce4MX in the iMac 17" can actually drive 2 individual displays. I got it to work in OS 9.2.2 by swapping the Rom file (and the CPU Plugins file - same method as the original one for the iBook). I'm sure it can be done in firmware also. I hope to find a way soon.

    (Quote on Reader report here)
    " Hi,
    the tweak does not work with the late 2001 iBook. The OF property the hack is modifying doesn't exist in that model. I have been investigating that issue on my 600MHz iBook for a year now and haven't found the right property yet - if there is any. I don't have access to a Radeon iBook, but I suspect the difference could be that the newer iBooks have two entries for the display in the device tree (like the Powerbooks) and uses just that property to toggle extended functionality.

    The Rage ibooks have only one display entry, which is why I guess the drivers couldn't be made recognizing the additional output yet. One possibility I'd see how one could work around that would be a patch for Darwin's iokit so that it reports a fake device tree with two display entries to the display drivers. Stefan "

Stefan knows what he's talking about. That is exactly what I thought. Since the device tree only contains one graphics chip it the driver can't access two individual ones. I'm pretty sure that the hardware is there. I guess that the firmware is designed to only show one node. his thought of a patch for the iokit is really good. I hope someone can do this.

    (Quote on Reader report here)
    " I posted this on your PowerBook and iBook forum but essentially here's what happened:
    I applied the Open Firmware mod to my 2001 iBook (600/DVD/Rage128 Mobility) as described on the site you linked to. I'm 95% sure I typed in everything exactly as I should. After the expected restart the iBook did the startup chime and then nothing else. Trying to zap the PRAM, boot into Open Firmware, or boot into the boot manager all don't work. All I get is the startup chime, HD spinup, then nothing.

    I have a G4 desktop to use in the meantime but I would like to find out if there's a way to get this iBook booting again without tearing it apart and removing the battery (or whatever I have to do to make it forget about the Open Firmware script I applied.) ...
    Regards,
    jeff "

Not sure why this didn't happen on the other Rage128 based iBooks - but the first thing that comes to mind is to remove the battery for enough time to fully clear the NVRAM. (I suggested the same thing but have not heard back from him yet.) I'm not sure if the iBooks are like the later powerbooks where the internal battery will also drain down if the main battery is removed for enough time.

I have gotten three reports of that kind (found two in my mailbox this morning and immediately but a warning on top of my page, a 3rd one came in later today). It seems to be a problem with the 600mhz Rage iBooks only. I don't think he made a mistake when he entered the code (well, except for entering it ;) since all three reports were about 600mhz Rage iBooks all with the same symptoms.
(Note - At least one reader (Christian) said he had an iBook 500 model with the problem and that leaving the battery out overnight didn't help, so I'd caution all pre-Radeon Mobility iBook owners to not try this, since it's never been noted to work on older models anyway.)
I tried to enter the code manually (without the script so it would be good only for the next boot) into a 600mhz 14" iBook with Rage chip.
I entered it step by step and checked the contents of the stack after every command. I also checked for the existence of the variable that I wanted to modify. It did not exist. So the code didnt really do anything since the 'get-my-property' command returned 'ffffffff' and thus the 2drop command cleared the only two items that were on the stack. Then the '!' command doesn't work since there is nothing on the stack (it requires a value and an address where to write the value).
The iBook worked just fine after this.
I suspect that there might be an issue with executing a script in those iBooks. Maybe there is a bug in the Open Firmware that causes some damage in conjunction with this script. It would be interesting to know if there are any people who use a different nvram script with those iBooks.
I also think that removing the battery might work (unless there has been some permanent damage). The iBooks don't have any backup batteries so removing the battery should reset the nvram after a while. I hope we can get this resolved soon.
so long
-Klaus "

Note - so far only one reader (iBook 500) with the problem has reported back about removing the battery to clear the NVRAM didn't work. (He left it out overnight, then for 72 hours - no help. later reports noting motherboard replacement was needed.) I have no idea why some saw this problem but not others. Regardless, I'd never try this on a pre-Radeon mobility based iBook. (Note - removing a dimm is said to defeat the Apple OF password utility but I don't know if that would help with the problems some have seen.)


Reader Reports on the Firmware Mod: (most recent first) iBook Rage128 Mobility Failure Report: (another report of a basically DOA iBook after attempting this - see the warning posted hear long ago at the top of this page in red!)

"Hi, I applied the Open Firmware mod to my 2001 iBook (600/DVD/Rage128 Mobility) as described on the site http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_d.html
--- After the expected restart the iBook did the startup chime and then nothing else. Trying to zap the PRAM, boot into Open Firmware, or boot into the boot manager all don't work. All I get is the startup chime, HD spinup, then nothing. Is there any keyboard-command bevor booting to kill this mistake?!?!?
However, THANX for your nice web...to help some macer like me.
Patrick. "

I noted on this page that the mod was only for Radeon mobility or later models but I tried to warn readers about this since several others (even with later ibooks) in some cases had failures from trying it. That's why I put the warning in bold red text near the top of that page.
My first suggestion back then was to remove the battery and leave it out for a day or so (to hopefully clear the nvram fully) but some noted that did not work and they had to take the ibook in for repairs.
If leaving the battery out for a couple of days does not help I don't know what to suggest. If you have the author's email of that mod, try writing him to see if he has any other ideas... Sorry.

iBook G3/800 Report:

"Hi, I have a November 2002 800mhz iBook (Boot ROM 4.5.4f1) with the M7 Radeon chipset and 32MB VRAM (ROM# 113-xxxxx-210).
I followed the instructions on macparts.de/ibook and everything works fine. I now have mirroring and monitor spanning (up to 1280x1024 on my 19"). Quartz Extreme works on both screen, tested using Quartz Extreme Check.
I did however test using the temporary mod before applying the permanent one, so I guess for people thinking of trying the patch the best option is to try the temporary mod (which will clear on 2nd reboot).
Cheers,
Yau Hui "

iBook G3/900 Report:

" I just bought my new iBook (900MHz G3 model, ATI Mobility Radeon 7500 with 32MB) last week and tried the tweak today. It works like a charm. My external monitor is a Dell (Philips) M990 model (up to 1920x1440). I don't have any problems with it so far. Now I'm able to do whatever I want in Photoshop and Painter without resizing anything smaller just to fit 1024x768! I'm very happy! :-)
I just wanted to let you know the tweak actually works on this model. So others will know it will work on their 900MHz models (as long they know what they are doing with this tweak).
Thanks for the tweak! :-)
~Sara "

Anyone not willing to risk failure (or a DOA) iBook, should not try this, even though some later model iBook owners have reported success, some have had major problems requiring repairs (even with later models, not sure why unless some command was mistyped...) iBook G3/800 Report:

" I have the December 2002 iBook with 800mhz G3, 640MB RAM and 32MB Radeon 7500 (M7) GPU (plus combo drive). The Bootrom is 4.5.4f1, and the ATI DEVICEID is 4c57 and ROM# is 113- XXXXX-210.
I followed the instructions on http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/ibook_e.html for my patch. I tried both the temporary patch (to test) and the permanent patch, and both worked great.
I am now able to run extended desktop (2 x 1024x768) and also switch to the usual mirroring. On the external monitor (connected via the Apple VGA cable), I can get up to 1280x1024 as well, although that means my windows don't align to the iBook's smaller 1024x768 screen.
2 screens for nothing - Amazing hack!
Cheers,
Obrag"

iBook G3/700 Report:

" Hi, just tried this on my 700MHz 12.1" 16MB VRAM ATI Radeon Mobility 7500 iBook (bought Christmas 2002), worked flawlessly in OSX (even 10.2.5), about to try OS9 as well. It /does/ enable all the options in the Display System Preferences panel like I've seen at the dual-head Power Mac G4s at my school, and it allows the external monitor connection to go past the iBook's internal 1024x768 max resolution: right to my CRT's maximum of 1280x1024@60Hz.. I also applied the Quartz Extreme hack (dropping 16MB VRAM minimum to 8MB, doing a 'sudo pico' in the Terminal), and it appears to be working fine as well.
The iBook also plays nice when disconnecting the monitor, moving windows back into the remaining LCD display instead of having them vanish like one might expect.. I wonder why Apple disabled this in the first place.. to make the PowerBooks more appealing? ;)
- Kithop "

Another iBook G3/700 Report with OS 9 ROM file notes:

" I cannot reach the http://www.rutemoeller.com/mp/ibook/oldibookpage.html webpage, so I cannot check if this has been mentioned before, but I found out by accident that dual monitor support can be added to a November 2002 iBook (in my case the 700MHz 16MB VRAM Opaque model) in Mac OS 9 quite easily without having to mess with Open Firmware settings.
All you have to do is to track down an older version of the Mac OS ROM file.
I installed Mac OS 9.2.2 on an external firewire harddrive on an iMac SE, and booted my iBook off that drive. All of a sudden I could just turn mirroring off and drive two monitors...
When I put the ROM file that came with this install in the system folder that came with the iBook I could also switch mirroring off...
You can see a screenshot of the difference in this picture:
http://www.helmantel.com/pics/dual_screen.gif
In other words, the Mac OS ROM file version 8.9.1 enables dual monitor and the 9.7.1 ROM file disables it. I haven't noticed any problems in using this ROM file so far.
This might be an intesting tip for people still running Mac OS 9 and don't want to mess with their firmware.
greetings,
Arnoud Helmante "

iMac G4 17" LCD (Geforce4MX) Reports: The 2nd email from an iMac G4 17" owner recently (see the one just below this for a more detailed report.)

" hello, following the instructions of a "subpage of http://macparts.de/ibook." for modifying the OpenFirmware of my iMac 800/17" LCD, now monitor- spanning works fine without any problems; the iMac display works with its "native" high-resolution, and the 19"CRT works up to 1280X1024/75Hz in million colours - under MacOS X.
-- Best regards , Jens Olsson "

Another iMac 17" Report (from the Dec. 3rd, 2002 www.xlr8yourmac.com news page)

"I thought I'd pass along the great news about monitor-spanning on my iMac 17" 800 MHz, GeForce4 MX under Mac OS X. It works!
-Eric D.
(he included a copy of an email sent to the author of the ibook mod - edited to correct a prev. typo.)
Subject: Monitor-spanning works on my iMac 17" LCD under Mac OS X!
Thank you, thank you!

The iBook monitor-spanning Open Firmware modification also works on my iMac 17" 800 MHz, GeForce4 MX. I was looking around in Open Firmware on my iMac and noticed that there are several words at the root of the device tree that represent some relevant constants:

no_strip_timing -- 10 hex, 16 decimal
allow_desktop_mode -- 8
allow_headless_boot -- 4
force_mirroring -- 2
default_mirroring -- 1

It appears that the value of the " graphic-options" property is derived from a bitwise OR of a combination of these values. The default value for this property on my iMac is 12 hex. Therefore, to disable the force_mirroring option, it seems that all one really needs to do is turn off the second least significant bit, i.e., change 12 hex to 10 hex.

This means (at least for my iMac) that 00000000 in the original intructions could be replaced by 00000010 so that the line reads:
00000010 " graphic-options" get-my-property 2drop !

Either way, it works on my iMac 17" LCD system. Quartz Extreme seems to work fine on both displays. DVDs can be played on fine on either screen. This definitely extends its flexibility as true "digital hub", something I intend to use extensively for my own projects.
Thank you for discovering the original modification! It has been a great help.
Eric Doyle "

Note - this firmware mod isn't without some risks apparently, as several iBook 2002 owners reported major problems after the mod, requiring a repair from an Apple dealer. (Not sure why some had this problem and others not - see previous article with iBook owner feedback on the mod.)

iBook Nov. 2002 (Radeon 7500 Mobility Report: This is the first report from a November 2002 iBook (w/Radeon 7500 mobility) that has commented on this mod. (Note - remember even some 2002 radeon mobility iBook owners noted failures after the mod - so don't try this unless you're willing to risk a failure.)

(added 11/6/2002)
" Dear XLR8YourMac,
I am writing to let you know that the firmware monitor spanning hack WORKS on my new November 2002 iBook. This is the recently released model with the 32 MB Radeon 7500 card. Mine is the mid-level (12" with 32MB VRAM) version.

I've also done some research into Open Firmware, and I have an important suggestion to people trying this hack. The instructions available on the web use "nvstore" and "setenv" to store a boot script and set a flag in NVRAM (non-volatile flash memory) to run that script at startup before OS X loads. Writing anything into flash is serious business.

To test the hack before committing it to flash, I suggest that the boot script be run--BUT NOT SAVED--using the commands "nvrun" and then "mac-boot" instead of "nv-store" and "setenv". The first command runs the script that was entered using nvedit, but without actually saving it to Flash. The second command exits Open Firmware and boots up OS X. In this way, one can test the dual monitor hack before committing it to Flash. Once confident that the hack works, it can then be burned into the Flash using the previously documented procedure. If it doesn't work, then the next reboot will at least be normal.

As always, this is presented for information only, and I can not be liable for any damage that this seemingly safer procedure may cause to anyone's computers.
Thanks
Rex Min "



This is the 2nd Radeon Mobility (2002) iBook owner that has had a major problem after the firmware mod:

(added 11/6/2002)
" Hi,
I've got a 2002 iBook 700 MHz, 384 MB RAM (purchased Aug 2002) with 4.3.6f3 boot ROM. Apple Profiler reports ATY, RageM6, ID 4c59, ROM# 113-xxxxx-125, 16 MB VRAM.

After applying the mod (pretty sure without any typos) the iBook didn't start any more (chime, HD spins up, power off). Getting into OF or zapping NVRAM was impossible.

Apple diagnosed a defective motherboard (!) and exchanged it.
Don't try the mod if you like your iBook - the risk is not worth it!
CU - Chris "


(added 10/31/2002)
"I used the firmware mod and have been using an 17" Apple crt. It seems to work great, but after running in 1280*1024 for a few days the screen hav started to flash frequently (like doing a degauss), approx 3 times a day. Some one told med this was a sure sign that the graphics card is about to die. What's up with that?
Im using a 700 ibook 12.1 inch with mobility radeon.
Thanks in advance for quick response,
magnus. "

No other reports of this so far that I remember, but try writing the author of the mod at his web page. Maybe he can comment on if others have seen this problem. It may or may not be related to the mod.


(added 10/29/2002)
" 2002 iBook 700 Dual (USB)
Machine ID 406
Graphics card: ATI Mobility Radeon (AGP 2x); Model ATY,RageM6
Video Memory: 16 MB
Mac OS X 10.1.5
640 MB RAM
Boot ROM version: 4.36f3

Works great for me! Connected a Wacom Cintiq tablet/monitor to my AV port, turned off mirroring, arranged the two monitors the way I wanted with the Displays system pref and bingo - more screen real estate. We all owe Klaus a big "Thank you".
David M. "


(added 10/29/2002)
"I ran the script on my 2002 ibook g3 700, it's got the ati card 4c59. (Radeon Mobility) It took a few tries to get it to work, but I have to say this is the best hack I've ever come across! It sucks that people are having problems because this is great!
cya.
adam "


(added 10/29/2002)
" This tweak is working perfectly on my iBook 700 mhz. (Radeon Mobility chip model) My only question is i don't know how to change the value of GLCompositorMinimumVRAM - i tried using texteditor but it didn't allow me to save...is there another way to do it correctly?
thanks, vinnie "

I don't think you can edit the file in OS X due to permissions (write protected) - simpliest may be to reboot to OS 9 and then edit the file. (There are other ways like using the terminal as root but I don't have the commands handy - a get info on the file may also allow changing it's permissions temporarily and then change them back - but I think I'd try booting to OS 9 for changes.) Also make a backup of the original file just in case.


(added 10/28/2002)
"I have a new iBook 700 MHz with 12 inch display, 384 MB RAM (BTO from Apple), Airport card (pulled from my iMac), combo drive and 40 GB HD (BTO from Apple), Radeon Mobility and 16 MB NVRAM (I do not know the device ID because I cannot look into it now).

After I applied the Open Firmware patch the iBook does reboot over and over again and I cannot use it anymore. I pulled the battery and the 256 MB Ram chip over night, but it did not help. So not only owners of elder iBooks with Rage chip run the risk to damage their machine, there might be also a risk for owners of the new model.

Can it be that there is a risk when you mistype something in the script? Or are there different iBook models?
Best regards
Thomas A. "

I have no idea why even a typo would cause any permanent damage. (Removing a dimm is said to defeat the Apple OF password utility but I don't know if that would help with the problems some have seen.) I asked Thomas if the system still reboot over and over if booted from CD. Can you boot and run the hardware test CD?


(added 10/28/2002)
" Hi
I tried the script on my radeon ibook 700 with 4c59 not 4259 chip and it doesn't work. (Note - one reader below noted his "4259" ID was a typo - it's 4c59.)
It is somehow strange, because in 10.2.1 I can only display 800x600 with the VGA-cable attached (only mirroring). 9.2.2. works normally with mirroring. Maybe it is somehow related to the installed ATI October Retail Update.
Robert
(he later wrote)
Sorry for the mail before but it now works perfectly. "


(added 10/28/2002)
" I successfully have the OF tweak working on my 2002 iBook. I goofed up the lines in the OF nvedit editor the first time, but I went back into the OF editor and hit up, it allows you to edit those two lines. Once I corrected my error, it worked fine. I don't think that 2001 iBook users will get the dual hack working as the rage 128 doesn't natively support dual monitor, so they are limited by their hardware.
(As noted in my spring 2000 Pismo PB G3 review, the Rage128 Mobility chip does support dual head/dual monitors. I can only suspect that the iBooks have either a different version of the chip or have it otherwise disabled in hardware.)

I am also looking to find a copy of chud tools 1.1.1 to see if overclocking my 2002 iBook makes a difference. I have looked everywhere on the web and in different forums to find a copy. No luck. You have any leads?
Thanks
Kyle "

I don't know any mirrors of the 1.1.1 version (noted in a past article on iBook 2002 OC'ing - but some that replied to that original posting didn't get it to work. later CHUD versions removed that capability.)


(added 10/28/2002)
" I have a 700MHz iBook with a Radeon, but as with Dave D. mine's a 4c59 and not the 4259 that the hack's original author has. (Note - one reader below noted his "4259" ID was a typo - it's 4c59.)
No dice. I have double-checked the script in Open Firmware a number of times, and it's correct; it simply doesn't work on my machine.
Interesting to note, too, that in Apple System Profiler, only one ATI device shows up.
Clayton H. "

Not sure why some Radeon Mobility owners note it doesn't work (or several times have noted it didn't at first, then later reported it did here.)


An older iBook owner that had the problem of not booting after the mod wrote back that leaving the battery out for 24 hours didn't help:

(added 10/25/2002)
" 24 hours of no power whatsoever and still no joy. I may have to take more drastic measures.

I wonder if warranty still applies. It's not like I dropped it or did something drastic with the hardware. Should Open Firmware commands allow a laptop to be completely destroyed?
Thanks again,
jeff "

I don't see how OF mods can damage the system, they should be cleared if there's no battery backup (after a long period of time) to retain the NVRAM contents.


(added 10/25/2002)
" I tried this on my iMac 800 GF2MX (15" LCD model) because I thought that i could tell if spanning was allowed without hooking up an extra monitor (I didnt want to buy the VGA adapter if I couldnt span my monitor). I tried the tweak and opened up the OpenGL Info included with the OS X Dev Tools and now it lists two devices, the Geforce2MX and then a Generic. Multi Screen and Off Screen is enabled in the Generic, but not under the GF2MX. I know this is dumb but I kinda forgot to check the settings first so I enclosed the report I got from OpenGL Info so maybe somebody can compare it with an iMac w/o the OpenFirmware hack.
-Zack
(his attached report text file is here) "


(added 10/25/2002)
(iBook 2002 Radeon chip model)
"It works fantastic for me !!! (700 MHz iBook)
With your help I got back, what I had with my last five Powerbooks (190, 5300, Wallstreet, Lombard and G4 Titanium), so thank you very much for this very important information !
By the way:
My Boot-Rom is 4.3.6f3 and the pdf shows my ATI Radeon details...
With kind regards from oldenburg, northern germany
Sven K.
P.S.
US vs German Keyboard "


(added 10/25/2002)
"Must have had finger trouble on the first report, the Device ID of my video card _is_ 4c59, not 4259. Note that the first time I tried it it did not appear to work, but I tried again on the theory that I'd mistyped and it did work the second time with the results reported previously.
wil m. "

I can't find his previous mail... (assuming it's a Radeon Mobility 2002 iBook since no others are reported to work with it.)


(added 10/25/2002)
" Like the Rev B Titanium, the Radeon iBooks do not enable QE on the external screen with monitor spanning enabled.
However, the same hack that enables QE on the Titanium works for the iBook. So far I've had no problems, and I confirmed it's enabled with the QE checker.
A quick google search turned up this link on the fix: http://www.macslash.org/articles/02/08/29/1541230.shtml
Sam C "

This mod (setting the GLCompositorMinimumVRAM value to 8) was also noted at the bottom of the past page here on Mods for enabling Quartz Extreme with PCI Radeons.


Note on Zeros not the O letter/character.

(added 10/24/2002)
" I first tried the mod last night. Didn't work, so I wrote the guy this morning and he was kind enough to write back and set me straight... he explained that there were 8 zeros that needed to be typed in... not the letter O eight times, which was my mistake. I'd suspected that that might have been the case. Tried it again today and it seems to work great. I have the 700mhz (Radeon Mobility chip) 12 inch ibook. Got to love dual lcd monitors!
Willie "


(added 10/24/2002)
" Just tried out the iBook dual display firmware mod on my 700Mhz iBook (with 16MB ATI Radeon mobility card).

Total success. Full extended desktop, tested on several different CRT monitors via the VGA adapter. You even get extended desktop configuration options in the "Displays" System Preference.

Next step will be to try hooking up a flat panel LCD to it. I think we're going to try this on an iMac as well.

Many thanks. Look for this in an upcoming issue of Small Dog's Tech Tails newsletter.
Matt M. "


(added 10/24/2002)
" I am happy to report that this tweak works on my 2002 iBook 600, with the Radeon Mobility 16 MB VRAM video (overclocked via software to 750). I ran the hack, rebooted and, presto! I can set my 19" monitor up to 1600 x 1200, with millions of colors. As a side benefit, ColorSync calibrator now has full functionality to calibrate the CRT. (Under video mirroring, there was no way to set the current gamma.) Very clever hack.
Timothy C.
Santiago, Chile "


(added 10/24/2002)
"I tried this firmware tweak yesterday on my overclocked 500MHz Ibook. The result is that it does not boot any more. Only the chime comes and that's it. I tried to zap the pram, booting into OF and resetting energy manager but everything failed.
I think the people should be careful with this, it seems it can be harmful. Any help is appreciated, if not I have a fried Ibook to sell.
Christian
(he later wrote)
i left it without battery over night without any success and of course I tried to reset the power manager. i typed zeros... please infrom me if your about anything new what I could try...
Christian "

I don't know what else to suggest except perhaps leaving the battery out for 24-48Hrs in case the NVRAM wasn't fully cleared. (I don't know what else could have went wrong - or why some other iBook 500 owners didn't have the problem, although it didn't work to enable dual display support.)

I noted yesterday (see below) another iBook owner that saw this problem (most others didn't) - not sure why but as I suggested yesterday try removing the battery overnight to see if it will clear the NVRAM. (He later said leaving it out overnight did not help - see 10/24/2002 updated report above)
Since only the latest 2002 iBooks with Radeon Mobility Chip have reported this mod works (see past reports below), even though most didn't see any problem with it, I don't think it's worth more older iBook owners even trying it.


(added 10/24/2002)
" I'm having the same problem as Jeff is after applying the OF script. All I get is the startup chime and that's it. It looks like we have similar models, my iBook is a late 2001 600 MHz with a combo drive.
Christian M. "

I asked if tried leaving the battery out overnight and also if he entered zeros or "O" character. (Just wondering why this issue wasn't reported by all older iBook owners.)


(added 10/24/2002)
" Tried the Open Firmware hack listed on the macparts.de site without any luck in either Mac OS 9.2.2 or 10.2.1. The displays (second is a Planar CT1904N 19" LCD) mirror as usual, but there is no extended desktop support.

Of noteŠthough my iBook is a 12" 700 MHz machine (purchased in late June of this year) with the Radeon Mobility (RageM6) chip, the Device ID as listed differs (Device ID 4c59) from that as listed by the first reader (ID 4259).

Just thought this would be of interest. Would be curious to find out how (and where) the hack works in Open Firmware.
Dave D. "

I asked Dave if he entered Zeros (and not the 0 character). Since he has a Radeon Mobility based iBook it should work based on other reports (and one Radeon Mobility iBook owner reported the reason it didn't initally was that he didn't enter Zeros.)


(reports added 10/23/2002 follow)

" Mine is a 700 Mhz G3 iBook running OSX 10.2.1 and has the following video characteristics according to the Apple System Profiler:

    Card Type ATY,DDParent
    Card Name ATY,FallParent
    Model ATY, RageM6
    VendorID 1002
    DevID 4C59 (Corrected)
    ROM# 113-XXXXX-125
    Rev 0
    Mem 16MB

(note it reports itself as a Rage, not a Radeon...)
[That's normal - the M6 is the Radeon Mobility as I remember, the M7 is the 7500 Radeon Mobility I think.]

after applying the hack, I can run an external Sun GDM-5410 as my main screen at any of the following resolutions at Millions of colours:

  • 640x480
  • 800x600
  • 832x624
  • 1024x768
  • 1152x870
  • 1280x960
  • 1600x1200

and also 1792x1344 at Thousands.

The machine behaves politely when I plug/unplug the external monitor, moving the menubar back to the LCD or external as hoped for. I can switch back to mirrored

The only fly in the ointment is that rebooting into 9.2.2 doesn't allow me to change resolutions on the external monitor, but leaves it at 640x480. I haven't tried any of the resolution-setting utilities for this, since I never use 9.2.2. any more anyway.

That hack makes the iBook a pretty-near perfect little developer machine.
Wil
(he later wrote)
must have had finger trouble on the first report, the Device ID of my video card _is_ 4c59, not 4259.
Note that the first time I tried it it did not appear to work, but I tried again on the theory that I'd mistyped and it did work the second time with the results reported previously. Note that the first time I tried it it did not appear to work, but I tried again on the theory that I'd mistyped and it did work the second time with the results reported previously."


" I've given the tweak a try on my iBook what uses the ATI Rage Mobility 128 to no avail....
Hope some other tweak comes out that will let us use dual monitor.
Thanks,
Cuauhtemoc "


"I just tried the OF tweak on my iBook 500 and it did not enable spanning. Thanks for the great site.
Keith "


" I've tried the tweak with no success on my 500MHz (overclocked to 100/550) iBook. Though this could be due to the overclocking modifications to the OF. I tried adding the new lines directly after the cpu/bus speed lines, but this may be incorrect, I do not know, so if someone knows about this, it would be interesting to know whether the tweak doesn't work due to the way I've added the lines.
Richard "

From reports, the mod doesn't work on anything but the Radeon chip iBooks (latest models).


" 17" iMac work only mirror with external monitor (i test that openfirmware fix) ibook work fine ibook 600MZh/20gb/CD
Mika M."

I had hoped the GF4MX chip in the iMac G4 17" would have had dual head support. (The author of the mod also thought it would work for the 17" iMacs. I asked Mika if his iBook had the Rage128 or Radeon Mobility graphics chip. (I assume the Radeon chip)


" Hi,
the tweak does not work with the late 2001 iBook. The OF property the hack is modifying doesn't exist in that model. I have been investigating that issue on my 600MHz iBook for a year now and haven't found the right property yet - if there is any. I don't have access to a Radeon iBook, but I suspect the difference could be that the newer iBooks have two entries for the display in the device tree (like the Powerbooks) and uses just that property to toggle extended functionality.

The Rage ibooks have only one display entry, which is why I guess the drivers couldn't be made recognizing the additional output yet. One possibility I'd see how one could work around that would be a patch for Darwin's iokit so that it reports a fake device tree with two display entries to the display drivers.
Stefan "


"I posted this on your PowerBook and iBook forum but essentially here's what happened:

I applied the Open Firmware mod to my 2001 iBook (600/DVD/Rage128 Mobility) as described on the site you linked to. I'm 95% sure I typed in everything exactly as I should. After the expected restart the iBook did the startup chime and then nothing else. Trying to zap the PRAM, boot into Open Firmware, or boot into the boot manager all don't work. All I get is the startup chime, HD spinup, then nothing.

I have a G4 desktop to use in the meantime but I would like to find out if there's a way to get this iBook booting again without tearing it apart and removing the battery (or whatever I have to do to make it forget about the Open Firmware script I applied.)
By the way, your site rocks!
Regards,
jeff "

Not sure why this didn't happen on the other Rage128 based iBooks - but the first thing that comes to mind is to remove the battery for enough time to fully clear the NVRAM. I'm not sure if the iBooks are like the later powerbooks where the internal battery will also drain down if the main battery is removed for enough time.


"I just tried Klaus' Open Firmware mod with my original iBook 500 with the ATI Rage 128 Mobility (8MB) chipset, but it does not seem to work. I tried both sleeping the machine and plugging in the VGA display, and also booting it with the adapter plugged in, and both times the Displays control panel did not recognise a second display, only providing the option to mirror... Hopefully a workaround can be devised, Keep up the great work with your site,
Reino B. "


" I have an ibook 500Mhz dual usb, it has the ATY,RageM3p29s built in with 8megs of video memory. I tried the dual monitor tweak, and I am not sure what I am looking for after the restart? My external monitor is still the same as the ibook display, can't change resolutions other then the ones built in for the ibook display. Too bad, maybe I did it wrong, I was looking forward to getting a higher resolution on my 20 inch LCD then the 1024 X768 I am limited to.
Marcus P. "

If it worked you'd have an extended desktop (not a mirror) on the external display. No reports of it working with pre-Radeon Mobility iBooks so far.



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