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Apple releases firmware updates all three Intel Macs

post #1 of 42
Thread Starter 
Apple on Wednesday released individual firmware updates for its three existing Intel-based Macs and also issued a single Firmware Restoration CD software package covering all three models: iMac, MacBook Pro and Mac mini.

The firmware updates, which deliver EFI with BIOS support for the Intel Macs, do not appear automatically in the Mac OS X Software Update mechanism, so users must download them manually.

iMac (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0

iMac (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0 (2.8MB) updates iMac computers with Intel processors only.

MacBook Pro (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0

MacBook Pro (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0 (2.8MB) updates MacBook Pro computers with Intel processors only.

Mac mini (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0

Mac mini (Intel) Firmware Update 1.0 (2.8MB) updates Mac mini computers with Intel processors only.

Firmware Restoration CD v1.0

The Firmware Restoration CD v1.0 (8.7MB) can restore the firmware of an Intel-based iMac (early 2006), Mac mini (early 2006), or MacBook Pro (early 2006) to original factory condition. It can only be used to restore the Firmware after an interrupted or failed update.

Additional information on Apple's firmware updates for Intel Macs has been posted to a knowledge base article on the company's support site.
post #2 of 42
Any chance you can clarify on what this is about?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #3 of 42
Has anyone else noticed that the new Mac mini is being referred to as the "early 2006" model? Does that imply that there's another one on its way later this year?
post #4 of 42
I just did the Firmware update! But i'm still confused as it's my first time doing such a thing! What exactly is it? Why wasn't it in software update? Why is it nessasary? We just update to 10.4.6 I'm clueless here, someone clarify please! Thanks!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #5 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
I just did the Firmware update! But i'm still confused as it's my first time doing such a thing! What exactly is it? Why wasn't it in software update? Why is it nessasary? We just update to 10.4.6 I'm clueless here, someone clarify please! Thanks!

The Intel-based Macs use Intel's EFI firmware instead of the Open Firmware used by PPC-based Macs. EFI and Open Firmware are literally millenia ahead of the BIOS used in Wintel computers. The reason for the firmware update are explained above.
post #6 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Mr. Me
The Intel-based Macs use Intel's EFI firmware instead of the Open Firmware used by PPC-based Macs. EFI and Open Firmware are literally millenia ahead of the BIOS used in Wintel computers. The reason for the firmware update are explained above.

What exaclty is a frimware update? What does it do?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #7 of 42
like very low level device drivers
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by paramount57
like very low level device drivers

The more replies I get the more confused I get! In laymans terms what is firmware? What's a Firmware update?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #9 of 42
Let's look at firmware like breathing:

Your body knows how to breathe on its own. You also can consciously control your breathing. Think of a firmware update as embedded software that would make your automatic breathing function better.

The same concept applies to disk drives and other computer components. The software YOU use is the manual breathing while the software IT uses (firmware) is the automatic breathing.
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
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Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
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post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by CosmoNut
Let's look at firmware like breathing:

Your body knows how to breathe on its own. You also can consciously control your breathing. Think of a firmware update as embedded software that would make your automatic breathing function better.

I give up!
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
I give up!

It's really not that difficult to understand. Just remember, even when a hard drive, for example, isn't connected to any computer, there's software in it that lets it know that it's a hard drive and tells it how to function as such. THAT'S firmware.
Living life in glorious 4G HD (with a 2GB data cap).
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post #12 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
What exaclty is a frimware update? What does it do?

I don't know what a frimware update is, but I can tell you that a firmware update essentially replaces the software which is built into your hardware to initialize and control low-level data input/output for a particular device. In this particular case, the software which controls the motherboard in your Intel Mac.

If you're from the PC world, you can get firmware updates for a lot of components in your computer (motherboard, video card, network adapters, etc). Just like any other software component, the software which controls your hardware (ie. firmware) has bugfixes made to it and so it should be updated every now and then (though usually not as often as regular software).
 
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post #13 of 42
It's software that's even more basic than the operating system that allows the hardware itself to function. This includes, for example, the software installed in the motherboard that interprets temperature readings from the CPU temp sensors and then tells the fans how fast to spin.
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
It's software that's even more basic than the operating system that allows the hardware itself to function. This includes, for example, the software installed in the motherboard that interprets temperature readings from the CPU temp sensors and then tells the fans how fast to spin.

Thank you! That makes a lot more sense. So basically it's got nothing to do with the OS!
Does this mean we could see a new hardware device very soon?
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense. So basically it's got nothing to do with the OS!
Does this mean we could see a new hardware device very soon?

Just a wild guess, but I think this firmware update has a lot to do with Apple's new Boot Camp application.
 
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post #16 of 42
Just updated my firmware and I notice ZERO difference...
post #17 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by kmhtkmhtkmht
Just updated my firmware and I notice ZERO difference...

That's the general idea. Wouldn't it suck if your computer stopped working after you upgraded its firmware? Incidentally, this happened to a friends PC.

At any rate, I also went out and installed the firmware straight away (because I am a risk taker!)

Everything went smoothly, and the whole process took a couple of minutes.
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense. So basically it's got nothing to do with the OS!
Does this mean we could see a new hardware device very soon?

Firmware can affect how well the OS runs, or whether the computer hard-freezes every two minutes, but if Apple got it right the first time for the most part, then there won't be a huge difference.

The firmware most likely added the legacy BIOS support required for booting XP in Boot Camp.
post #19 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by auxio
Just a wild guess, but I think this firmware update has a lot to do with Apple's new Boot Camp application.

I'd agree. Hooks for or a full legacy BIOS implementation perhaps?
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post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Placebo
It's software that's even more basic than the operating system that allows the hardware itself to function. This includes, for example, the software installed in the motherboard that interprets temperature readings from the CPU temp sensors and then tells the fans how fast to spin.

So could this help with the heat issues on the MacBook Pro?
post #21 of 42
Ireland,

I'm glad you're not confused anymore. Firmware is what boots your computer until the OS takes over. It also does more than that, too, but my above explanation should suffice.

I think this Firmware update is related to BootCamp, as well.

Appleinsider's link to the restore CD is bad. Here is the correct one:

http://www.apple.com/support/downloa...tioncdv10.html
post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by auxio
Just a wild guess, but I think this firmware update has a lot to do with Apple's new Boot Camp application.

You're right in the article above they state " The firmware updates, which deliver EFI with BIOS support for the Intel Macs " Intel Macs are using EFI and WinXP uses BIOS so the only thing the update will do is fixes some issues with BootCamp \ http://forums.appleinsider.com/newre...postid=898493#
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Patricks
You're right in the article above they state " The firmware updates, which deliver EFI with BIOS support for the Intel Macs " Intel Macs are using EFI and WinXP uses BIOS so the only thing the update will do is fixes some issues with BootCamp \ http://forums.appleinsider.com/newre...postid=898493#

That makes sense.

Manufacturers will only usually release new firmware for bugfixes if it's a major issue which can only be fixed in firmware. They'd much prefer software driver writers work around firmware bugs if possible rather than risk having the hardware stop working completely (and end up with a whole bunch of returns).

As the discussion here illustrates, most people have no idea what firmware is and so it's very risky having the average person update it themselves (if they even know to check for firmware updates).
 
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post #24 of 42
This will do more than to help BootCamp. Depending on how complete the BIOS support is, it might allow other software companies come out with a standard boot process for Windows, rather than having to use that CD of drivers as well.

It would be best if Windows installed completely normally, looked for drivers normally and took care of things all by itself, without a crutch.

Though it is a very good beginning.
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Ireland
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense. So basically it's got nothing to do with the OS!
Does this mean we could see a new hardware device very soon?

It might also be helpful to note that firmware is actually software that is stored on a semi permanent basis in hardware. It's simply a program that knows what the machine is capable of doing on a hardware level, and tells the computer that is is ok to do all of that. All that the word "firm" stands for, is the fact that it is stored on a special memory chip inside the machine, rather than on a disk, or in RAM.

DVD recorders also have firmware, usually upgradable. That means that when the drive comes out, it doesn't perform up to its potential. By upgrading that firmware whenever the manufacturer updates it, you can burn to disks you couldn't before, or burn at higher speeds, lower error rates, less coasters, etc.

Firmware, just like any other software can contain bugs, and other limitations that can be fixed later.

I hope that wasn't too much.
post #26 of 42
My guess is that it merely enables the BIOS compatability mode in EFI...but technically, any OS could be installed now
post #27 of 42
Here's what happened when I tried to do it:

'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Gene Clean
Here's what happened when I tried to do it:


same here - found a solution?
post #29 of 42
Nope, nothing yet. I'll post back here if I find something.
'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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'L'enfer, c'est les autres' - JPS
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post #30 of 42
From what I've read today, if you applied the previous XP hack it conflicts with the firmware update. No solution as of yet.
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post #31 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Xool
From what I've read today, if you applied the previous XP hack it conflicts with the firmware update. No solution as of yet.

i never tried narfs method though - id already coppied all my music over and didn't want to format!
post #32 of 42
im currently backing up my current installation using super duper (search for superduper mac in google)

Then im going to completely reinstall mac osx and see where that gets me. il let you know in an hour or so!
post #33 of 42
Dont wipe the drive from the disk utility disk. You wont be able to start your imac anymore (OS X wont install onto it).

Here is what i did to get the xp hack off, and use the new apple one (you need another mac running 10.4.4 or higher:

***THIS WILL WIPE ALL PARTITIONS ON THE INTERNAL DISK***

Boot into target disk mode.
Hook it to the other mac, and open disk util.
Now, go to the partition tab for the iMacs disk.
Select 1 partition. click the 'options' button (this is the problem, it doesnt show a button for an internal disk, so the boot cd doesnt show it).
select GUID
Parition.
Now you can reboot the iMac and install OS X and then bootcamp.

*Note, when i rebooted to the install disk, it showed no partitions, so i had to open disk util on the boot cd and reparition it.



Basicly the problem is that unless you tell it otherwise, disk util maintains the partition scheme currently in place. The hack changed it to Master Boot Record (i think thats what its called, that is the MS-DOS boot scheme). But you cant tell Disk Util on the boot CD to change it, because it only brings up the 'option' button on external drives.

-deadend
post #34 of 42
did you apply the firmware update? apple released new firmware for all intel models..
post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by cj171
did you apply the firmware update? apple released new firmware for all intel models..

Yes. It was still necessary to boot in TDM to get it back to GUID
post #36 of 42
ok sorted it by backing up my files. putting the osx installation cd in then going through the install process and changing the options to erase the current OS and start fresh. Then i got all the updates, installed the firmware (flawlessly) then installed boot camp. Im currently at the windows setup screen

Gonna be installing BF2, CS:S and Command and conquer generals straight away so will give a yell in a post as to whether its any good for gaming¬!
post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by cj171
did you apply the firmware update? apple released new firmware for all intel models..

Yes I did - and it was the first time I updated a firmware on a Mac. I did this several times on Windows machine, actually I switched from Mac to Windows early 1996 and I switched back to Mac in Nov. 2005 (definitely for the BEST). In the Windows world you need to update your firmware if you want to keep up with the maximum speed and compatibility of your hardware. I was quite surprised when I saw that there was a firmware upgrade for the new MBP. The only advice I can give when you do upgrade the firmware - be patient and do not panic - it takes time and it will start again so just take it easy. Personnaly I did not notice any difference after the firmware upgrade.
post #38 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Patricks
Yes I did - and it was the first time I updated a firmware on a Mac. I did this several times on Windows machine, actually I switched from Mac to Windows early 1996 and I switched back to Mac in Nov. 2005 (definitely for the BEST). In the Windows world you need to update your firmware if you want to keep up with the maximum speed and compatibility of your hardware. I was quite surprised when I saw that there was a firmware upgrade for the new MBP. The only advice I can give when you do upgrade the firmware - be patient and do not panic - it takes time and it will start again so just take it easy. Personnaly I did not notice any difference after the firmware upgrade.

Apple has issued firmware updates occasionally. Once every three years or so.
post #39 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by Patricks
Yes I did - and it was the first time I updated a firmware on a Mac. I did this several times on Windows machine, actually I switched from Mac to Windows early 1996 and I switched back to Mac in Nov. 2005 (definitely for the BEST). In the Windows world you need to update your firmware if you want to keep up with the maximum speed and compatibility of your hardware. I was quite surprised when I saw that there was a firmware upgrade for the new MBP. The only advice I can give when you do upgrade the firmware - be patient and do not panic - it takes time and it will start again so just take it easy. Personnaly I did not notice any difference after the firmware upgrade.

does it still make the really long, loud beep when applying like with the old G3 and G4 powermacs?
post #40 of 42
Quote:
Originally posted by cj171
does it still make the really long, loud beep when applying like with the old G3 and G4 powermacs?

While I didn't do an update myself, PCWorld's review says "a very loud, un-Mac-like system beep is normal at the start of this process" which sounds like the nasty firmware beep to me.

Sounds sorta like an extended Mac I startup beep. SE era.
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