Updated: Fix the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT drivers not installed problem on macOS Catalina

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When I turned on my MacBook today, I was surprised with a blank display on my external display. Turns out the my external GPU that’s powered by the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT isn’t working properly.

At first, I thought it was a hardware failure. MacOS reports from the eGPU menu bar icon that there is no eGPU connected when the Razer Core X eGPU enclosure is connected to my MacBook. That’s primarily because when I swapped the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT with my old PowerColor Radeon RX 580, the eGPU was detected and worked perfectly.

It also wasn’t a power supply issue as the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT powered up and had its LED and fan spinning as I tested it with the Razer Core X eGPU enclosure case opened while it was connected to my MacBook.

Sapphire Pulse RX 5700 XT card powered up

This was when I realised that MacOS actually recognised the Sapphire Pulse Radeon RX 5700 XT but is reporting that the drivers was not installed.

Updated: The actual fix for the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT drivers not installed problem on macOS Catalina 10.15.x

Back when I initially had this problem, I got it fixed by forcing a reinstall of the drivers by updating to a newer version of macOS Catalina. When there isn’t a new stable version out, one option was to install a beta copy of macOS, which if you’re going from a stable version, it would be likely to be newer.

But I then posted this issue on the eGPU.io forums, @mac_editor at the forum shared that I could have fixed it simply by rebuilding the kernel cache. Recently, I had the same problem again. So I went ahead and tried the command below which would rebuild the kext cache.

sudo kextcache -i /

You will need to restart your Mac and the eGPU should work perfectly again!

If you this helped you too, please consider scrolling to the end of this page and buy me a tall latte to keep this blog going. Thanks!

My previous “fix” for the AMD Radeon RX 5700 XT drivers not installed problem on macOS Catalina 10.15.2

Note: I’m leaving this here just as a record of what I’ve originally posted as the “fix” to this issue.

The funny thing is that I don’t think there was any minor updates to my Mac just the day before, specifically on the 27 Dec 2019. But the fact that MacOS “sees” the card and states a missing driver strongly hints that this was a software issue

So I basically have two choices.

  1. Restore my Mac to a previous version. Not ideal but thankfully I have a pretty up-to-date Time Machine backup.
  2. Update to the latest 10.15.3 Public Beta and see if it works.

I went with option 2 to update the the latest macOS Catalina Public Beta as it was the fastest and easiest way to quickly test if it was a software problem and if a MacOS “refresh” would fix it.

Updating to the latest macOS Catalina public beta

  1. Head over to https://beta.apple.com/
  2. Sign in with your Apple ID
  3. Make sure you are on the macOS tab.
Apple public beta site
  1. Enroll your Mac by downloading and installing the Download the
Enroll your Mac on the macOS public beta
macOS Public Beta Access Utility
Install macOS Public Beta Access Utility

Then head over to the macOS Software Update in Settings and you should see the Pubic Beta update ready to be installed.

30 minutes later, this is what I got.

Lo and behold, my LG 27″ 4K external display came to life!

And the driver is installed yet again.


But I wouldn’t really call this a “fix”. I’m still figuring out how else I can force macOS Catalina to reinstall the drivers without resorting to updating the whole OS or restoring it to a point in time when it was known to work from a Time Machine backup.

If anyone knows how, please hit the comments and I’ll update the post accordingly.

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