Tested and solved - Mac Pro with Quadro 4000 and Clean install of Mac OS X Lion Quadro 4000 for mac

Nether: PNY, NVIDIA, APPLE or ADOBE will tell us the Quadro 4000 for Mac users how we do a clean install of Lion and get the Quadro 4000 graphics card to work on Mac Pro computers. So I have done some testing. And I have the solution! HERE GOES…

How to do a Clean install of Mac OS X Lion on a Mac Pro with NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac graphics card

Complete Clean Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2
installations guide of a
Apple Mac Pro (Mid 2010)
with NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac graphics card.

Mac Pro, v.5.1, (Mid 2010) 2x Xeon Quad Core 2,4 GHz. 32nm. (Intel Westmere)
Boot ROM Version: MP51.007F.B03
2x 4 GB Kingston RAM
OCZ Vertex II SSD Harddrive. SATA2.
Monitor: 24" DELL UltraSharp 2410. LCD. DisplayPort. (1920x1200/60Hz).

OBS: The original ATI Radeon graphics card for the Mac Pro,
will be needed to follow this installation guide.

Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 (11C74) DVD Disc. (.dmg burned from the App Store Lion installer app)
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5 with Adobe Mercury Playback Engine. (GPU enabled acceleration)

NO graphics driver from www.nvidia.com will be installed,
the Lion built in driver for the Quadro 4000 for Mac will be used
(v.7.12.9 270.05.10F03).
Only the latest NVIDIA CUDA for Mac driver will have to be downloaded and installed manually.
(Tested with NVIDIA CUDA driver v.4.0.50)

Tested: 11th. November 2011. Denmark.
Test and Guide by: Jesper Simonsen, 8410 Roende, Denmark.



FIRST how to burn your own Lion 10.7.2 bootable DVD disc:

  • On a Mac with Mac OS X Lion (updated from Lion bought from App Store)

  • Open “Disk Utility” application in the folder: /Applications/Utilities/

  • New open a Finder window.
    Browse to the Applications folder.
    Find the Lion installer.app that came from the App Store.
    Rightclick on the Lion installer app and choose “View Content”.
    Browse to path: /Contents/SharedSupport/

  • Find the “InstallESD.dmg” file (approx 3,4 GB)

  • Drag the “InstallESD.dmg” file in to the “Disk Utility’s” left hand sidebar.
    The .dmg file will appear in the sidebar in Disk Utility.

  • Put a empty Single Layer DVD-R disc in your DVD Burner drive.

  • Select the .dmg file in the sidebar of Disk Utility window.

  • Press the “Burn” button on the top toolbar of Disk Utility.
    Burn the .dmg image to the DVD Disc.

  • Wait for the Disc to finish burning.

  • You have now a real bootable Mac OS X Lion installation DVD disc.

THEN the installation procedure that I did, is the following steps:

  • We start with an already started up Mac Pro with Lion
    (mine is a Mid2010 model)

  • Put the Lion DVD disc in the DVD drive on the Mac Pro

  • Turn off the Mac Pro

  • Install the original ATI graphics card in the Mac Pro
    (take out the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 graphics card)

  • Now I did a Reseting of the Parameter RAM in the Mac Pro by
    Holding down the keys: OPTION+COMMAND+P+R
    and hold them down and start up the Mac Pro.
    Hold down all four keys until you hear the Mac chime sound two times then release.
    Immidiately after that, hold down the “C” key while the Mac Pro boots up.
    That will make the Mac Pro boot from the Lion 10.7.2 DVD disc (holding C key down)

    (If the Mac Pro boots up normally, then Restart it, and then hold down the C key
    to boot from the DVD disc).

  • When DVD finishes start up,
    choose to run “Disk Utility”.
    Make a new hard disk partition for Mac OS X
    (delete the old one to get a fresh empty partition)
    (Warning…!!! All your data will be erased forever!)

  • Then Quit Disk Utility

  • Choose to Install Mac OS X Lion on the hard disk partition from the Lion DVD.

  • After installation of Lion is finished
    In Mac OS X Lion with ATI graphics card still installed
    Go to harddisk folder: /System/Library/CoreServices/
    Start up the “Directory Utility” app.
    Go to the “edit” menu and choose “Enable Root User”

  • Make a password for the “Root” user and then Quit Directory Utility.
    (remember the password, or write it down on a piece of paper)

  • Go to System preferences and choose “Users & Groups”

  • Unlock the lock, then choose “Login Options”
    In the “Display login windows as:”
    choose “Name and password”.
    then lock the lock.
    And Quit System preferences.

  • Reboot Mac OS X

  • Login as username: root

  • Password: the one you created for the Root User in Directory Utility.

  • Download the latest NVIDIA CUDA driver for Mac at webpage URL:

  • Install the latest NVIDIA CUDA driver for Mac,
    while you are logged in as the “Root” user.
    Wait for the installer to successfully finishes. I takes a while!

  • Log out, and login as “root” user again. To be sure that everything in the user profile is saved.

  • Reboot Mac OS X, login as Root user again.

  • Start up Terminal prompt.
    Now test with these 3 command in Terminal:


/Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?

  • This should result in a “0”


/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist

  • This command should result in a “false”.


defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref

  • This should result in “UpdateRequired = FALSE”


The COMMAND’s are copied from this NVIDIA forum thread:

  • Reboot Mac OS X, login as Root user

  • Shut down Mac OS X

  • Change the graphics cards.
    That is, take out the ATI graphics card
    and install the NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac graphics card.
    (Remember to put in the extra power cable form the Quadro 4000 card
    to the motherboard connector).

  • Now I again did a Reseting of the Parameter RAM in the Mac Pro by
    Holding down the keys: OPTION+COMMAND+P+R
    and hold them down and start up the Mac Pro.
    Hold down all four keys until you hear the Mac chime sound two times then release.

  • Start up the computer, login as “root” user again.

  • See if the Finder windows is normal in List mode
    (do you see the background horizontal list lines in List view (COMMAND+2)
    You might have to calibrate the Color profile
    (System Preferences / Monitor / Color)

  • You might have to use the monitors built in settings
    via the monitors buttons and menus to get the right setting back.

  • Try to move a Finder window, if the border of the Finder window
    behave normal. Then everything is OK!

  • Log out of Mac OS X

  • Login as a normal user (not Root user)

NOW how to disable the Root User.

Open the Directory Utility app
Path: /System/Library/CoreServices/

  • Go to “Edit” menu and choose to disable Root User".

  • Quit Directory Utility.

  • Reboot Mac OS X
    Login as normal User.

  • Go to System Preferences/Users & Groups/

  • Unlock the lock

  • Press the “Login Options”

  • In the “Display login windows as:”
    Choose “List of users”

  • Lock the lock

  • Quit System Preferences.

Congratulations Quadro 4000 owner/user.
You made it to The End!

…and we always hear APPLE saying the line about the Mac:
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…



Nether PNY.com, NVIDIA.com, APPLE.com or Adobe.com are willing
to come up with the correct installation guide that WORKS!
…Now I have done it in stead!

The Quadro 4000 for Mac graphics card is a high-end
graphics card costing 1300 US dollars!!!
A professional graphics card with absolutely lowest amateur support level!
All four companies should be very much a shamed!!!

Leaving ALL the Quadro 4000 for Mac owners/users to their own troubleshooting.
It is only Professionals that use Quadro 4000 graphics card on the Mac Pro.
the Mac Pro is a professional workstation computer for business use primarily.
So this silence from the manufacture, dealer and apple is not good for anyone!
Just blaming the other guys right! Thats pretty lame!

Quadro 4000 for Mac is the ONLY graphics card in the world
that will hardware accelerate HD video editing
in Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.x+ with Adobe Mercury Playback Engine on a Mac computer.
Using NVIDIA CUDA technology.
NONE ATI graphics cards for any Mac offers that!

As the owner and user of the Quadro 4000 for Mac graphics card,
I think it is pretty lawsy service level indeed!!!
NO MATTER who’s fault it is! It is for sure NOT MY FAULT right?!!!
But I get the problem.
Even when I spend a serious large amount of money on the Mac Pro and
Quadro 4000 graphics card!

I don’t care if Apple is at war with Adobe and/or NVIDIA.
I’m a professional and I want professional computer
hardware and software. I pay large amount of money
to get a professional WORKstation and GPU performance and GPU features.
I demand professional hardware and software.
Professional Operating System and drivers too.
That has NOT been the case with Quadro 4000 for Mac
graphics card and Mac OS X Lion!
And the ATI graphics cards will NEVER NEVER be professional graphics EVER!
Even (now 11th nov. 2011) 4 months after Lion was released no one has come up
with a solution! And NVIDIA CUDA technology is the future of professional 3D, CAD
and Video editing. Apple just has to eat that raw and start doing something professional about it!
That’s why I tested it my self and third time I hit jackpot!

Apple has to realize that the Mac Pro is for PROFESSIONALS.
Then they can do what ever with all the other Apple “for dummies” iMac’s, Mini’s and Macbooks, iPads etc…
Just be PRO with the Mac Pro. For gods sake!

NVIDIA has to realize that they ether do Mac graphics card solutions or THEY DONT!
There is nothing in between! Selling a 1300 US Dollars graphics card and writing nothing about the solution
to have it work in Lion is just NOT AT ALL acceptable.
It seems there is none professional Mac developers at NVIDIA!!!
I have tried in another NVIDIA forum thread to make NVIDIA talk, with no luck to this date. (11 nov 2011).

Well anyways, that’s my opinion.
You can have your own opinion on this.
It’s a free world!


The Viking
Jesper Simonsen, Denmark
new media designer

At my work we’re in the middle of configuring 22 MacPro workstations. I’d say 3/4 of them will have Quadro 4000 cards in them. The systems will be mostly used for editing video. I’ve found setting up those systems with Lion, very very annoying and troubling :wallbash: .

So I wholeheartedly agree with you. On this practice of finger pointing. Nvidia and Apple are acting like children.

I just needed to join in on your excellent post. Say “Thank You” for taking the time of drafting it. :thanks:

On another note regarding your installation solution. I’ve found after awhile, everything seems installed fine. Correct proper Nvidia Driver showing in system prefs with current CUDA drivers. The system will be used for a couple days. and everything is great. Than the machine will be rebooted, and why’ll during the rebooting cycle the machine will hang/stall at the “White Apple” screen with the little status ring below the Apple logo freezing. Knowing full well that the machine is stuck…

You can force reboot the machine as many times as you like but the machine always freezes at the white Apple logo screen. So I tried rebooting the machine in “Safe Mode”. Holding down the Shift key why’ll the machine reboots, I can get to the Desktop now. Which tells me theirs something going wrong with the Drivers loading.

Then I tried rebooting the machine and forcing it to boot into “32-bit mode”. You do this by holding the “3” key and “2” key at the same time why’ll the machine reboots. Well the machine rebooted just fine now. But now I can’t use CUDA in anything because the CUDA driver is a 64bit driver only.

So I run Disk Utilities and Repaired Permissions, hoping thats why the machine won’t boot in 64bit mode. Because the CUDA driver permissions some how got messed up. Unfortunately I can’t remember what was all fixed by Disk Utilities, but their was a long list.

So I decided to roll the dice again, and rebooted the machine. This time not holding the “3” key and “2” key. The machine by default will go back to 64bit mode.


I’m back at my desktop now, and with full CUDA support in my apps.


Thank you for your kind words -digidow.
Nice of you to support my view on the finger pointing deal!
Good to have other Professional Mac Pro users
to support that.
To remind NVIDIA, APPLE, PNY and Adobe
that they should be a shamed on this matter.

Well, what you are saying digidow is, that after following my installation guide
your Mac Pro’s with Quadro 4000 now works as they should … or what?
I hope so.

The testing was on my Mac Pro (mid 2010) dual-CPU (2,4 GHz)
On Mac Pro (2009) and earlier, it might not be the same installation procedure!
I dont’ know.

The built-in NVIDIA graphics card driver in the Lion installer
is the one I use, I don’t install ANY NVIDIA “Graphics driver”
only the CUDA driver. The built-in NVIDIA graphics driver
in the Lion installer is newer than the latest version from nvidia.com
If you use the old Snow Leopard Graphics driver from
nvidia.com it will not work, not even if you rigthclick the
installer package and choose “view content” and install the tree different drivers manually.
The: Graphics driver, OpenGL driver and Video driver.
I have tryed that, it worked in Snow Leopard that way,
but not with the current nvidia.com graphics driver in Lion.

The NVIDIA CUDA driver need to be installed as a Root User.
An administrator login account seem not to be enough.
After the installation of Lion was completed,
I disabled the root user account.
and is login in as an normal administrator user account.


Best regards
Jesper Simonsen, Denmark.

I had done a clean Lion install of 10.7, but my CS5.5 is working perfectly fine. Should I be doing a 10.7.2 clean install? I have seen the difference in Cinebench as it shows slight difference but i dont trust that benchmark i guess its old.

Let me know what you guys think


I think you might as well wait for the Lion 10.7.3 to be released.

Then you can do a 10.7.3 clean install if you like to.

Developers have the 10.7.3 beta update now.


So I guess it will be released in near future.


Jesper Simonsen


thanks i will wait but suddenly my Quadro is not performing as it should be :(, i am on 10.7.2 but clean install was done on 10.7.0 i guess in premier CS 5.5 after just one color correction like Magic bullet looks, the playback on full res is u know not smooth! footage is from Canon 5D Mark II, and i have Macpro 4.1 with 24GB ram and boot drive is SSD

You think software raid is a good idea i bought 2 X 500 HD and made Raid now its 1TB in total

if you can guide me here i will be really thank full



/Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?

  • This should result in a “0”


/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist

  • This command should result in a “false”.


defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref

  • This should result in “UpdateRequired = FALSE”


i ran these commands and result is same and do i need to install anything else still in premier 2 video layers color corrected are flickring


/Library/Frameworks/CUDA.framework/Resources/compatibility_check | echo $?

  • This should result in a “0”


/usr/libexec/PlistBuddy -c “Print :RunAtLoad” /Library/LaunchAgents/com.nvidia.CUDASoftwareUpdate.plist

  • This command should result in a “false”.


defaults read /Library/Preferences/com.nvidia.CUDAPref

  • This should result in “UpdateRequired = FALSE”


i ran these commands and result is same and do i need to install anything else still in premier 2 video layers color corrected are flickring

Here here! Registered in the forum just to say “Thank you!” for your poignant post as I have been alternating my ATI 5850 and Quadro 4K as paperweights between kernel panics and I am still in Snow Leopard. I now learn I must must up to Lion for my me.com functionality and Lion is not any friendlier to the Q4K than Snow Leopard!?! I feel much like you described–a professional at odds with the tools that support my craft. While I rely on twin Q5K’s in my primary workstation (flawless with rare exceptions)–for the amount of time I have wasted on trying to get something out of my Q4K for my Mac–thats another story. To add to your sentiment–it has affected my desire to purchase from the parties involved to the point we are looking for alternate “professional” solutions for future expansions and have resulted in the return of product. Unfortunately I kept this one Q4K…

Thank you for creating a path for the stranded customers left in the wake of this highly unprofessional corporate feud/malaise/ignorance.


Thank you Ethan
I’m glad it worked for you.

Jesper Simonsen

Just a quick follow up…

NVIDIA released CUDA driver for Mac version 4.1.25

I have tested the CUDA v.4.1.25 driver OK with
Adobe Premiere Pro CS 5.5.2 on Mac OS X 10.7.2
Date: 2012_01_28

After installation the NVIDIA CUDA driver still says
that there is a 4.1.28 Update.

The CUDA for Mac driver v.4.1.28
is a Developer Driver version!
Info on this page:

The NVIDIA CUDA for Mac Archive is here:

I have not installed the CUDA v.4.1.28 Dev Driver,
because as I see it.
It is not a official release like the v.4.1.25
If anyone tries it, please post how it went ???

And still no new Mac OS X Lion v.10.7.x NVIDIA Quadro 4000 for Mac drivers from NVIDIA.com


best regards
Jesper Simonsen, Denmark

Sorry for the confusion, but 4.1.28 is a production CUDA driver. Only production drivers are posted for the update utility, the website is running behind.

I have updated OSX to 10.7.3.
I have downloaded 4.1.28, and it is working.
I don’t know well or bad.
I tried Xbench 1.3 and I got:
OpenGL Graphics Test 139.88
Spinning Squares 139.88 177.44 frames/sec

I tried openGL Extensions viewer 4.0 with CORE profile.
Renderer: NVIDIA Quadro 4000 OpenGL Engine

Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation

Memory: 2048 MB

Version: 3.2 NVIDIA-7.12.9

Device: MacPro3,1

Shading language version: 1.50

I have one DP and one DVI port, the DVI is working but the DP isn’t.
I have 2 DVI LCD monitors. This is nvidia driver, OSX Lion, or DVI cable problem?

I tried in Maya 2012, and viewport 2.0 is very fast, but V-Ray 2.0 can’t use openCL, this is nvidia driver, OSX Lion, or V-Ray problem?